San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris will become California's next attorney general—after Republican opponent Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley finally conceded today, three weeks after he prematurely declared victory after the Nov. 2 election. Harris, a veteran champion of LGBT rights, becomes the state's first female attorney general and the nation's first Black female attorney general.
It's a key progressive victory and a substantial win for LGBT Californians. Californians have now elected another governor and attorney general who oppose Proposition 8. Harris and Governor-Elect Jerry Brown have promised not to defend Prop 8 in court or appeal the landmark ruling that found the ballot initiative to be unconstitutional.
Cooley conceded defeat today as he trailed "by more than 50,000 votes in one of the closest statewide races" in California history, reports the Los Angeles Times. About 150,000 votes are outstanding, the vast majority in liberal counties that Harris carried, including Contra Costa, Monterey and Sonoma.
Kamala Harris served Cooley lunch in his own backyard, too. Harris won Los Angeles County by 14 points.
Harris' victory comes less than two weeks before the Ninth Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on December 6 in the Proposition 8 proponents' appeal of Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling. Walker has suggested that only the state has "standing" to defend the ballot initiative. That hearing will be broadcast on C-SPAN.